Ask MN legislators to support a Twin Cities Boulevard feasibility study

Aerial image of a possible boulevard conversion of I-94, with Dale street in the foreground. The highway trench has been replaced with a surface level urban boulevard, including reconnected streets, red bus lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks, and new buildings

Ask state legislators to study the Twin Cities Boulevard.

The 7.5 mile section of I-94 in between downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul is due for reconstruction. The Rethinking I-94 project will determine the corridor’s future for the next half-century. This project is a generational opportunity to repair the highway’s harms. The community deserves the opportunity to legitimately consider options that do not rebuild the highway and better understand how I-94 impacts their lives.

We are asking state legislators and Governor Walz to commission a feasibility study to evaluate a highway-to-boulevard conversion of I-94 in between Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Take action by sending an email and sharing your support!

Each email will be sent to Governor Walz and your local state legislators.

March 7 Update:

Thanks to your advocacy, Representative Samantha Sencer-Mura and Senator Omar Fateh have introduced bills in the House and Senate to commission a comprehensive feasibility study of an I-94 highway-to-boulevard conversion between downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The bill numbers are House File 2270 and Senate File 2180. Click the links to read the full bill text.

We are grateful for their leadership and for Rep. Vang Her, Rep. Finke, Sen. Oumou Verbeten, Sen. McEwen, Sen. Pappas and Sen. Dibble for signing on as co-authors.

NEXT STEPS: The bill needs to be heard in either the House or Senate Transportation Committee before the March 24 committee deadline to be considered for inclusion in a larger transportation spending bill. To ensure that this happens, click to contact Transportation Committee Chairs Rep. Frank Hornstein and Sen. Scott Dibble to ask that they schedule a committee hearing before the deadline.

Additional Information:

Why a feasibility study is needed:

While a boulevard conversion option will likely be considered as part of the Rethinking I-94 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, the EIS process does not consider many of the highway’s historic and ongoing impacts and the potential benefits of removing it. Federal and state law limit what can be considered as part of the EIS review, so a separate study is needed to account for these intersectional impacts. Additionally, the EIS process also only seeks to mitigate additional impacts instead of repairing past and ongoing harm.

MnDOT's process also uses biased traffic models and prioritizes repairing pavement and moving more car and truck traffic over addressing I-94's severe impacts on the environment and the people who live, work and go to school near it. This makes it difficult for non-highway options to move forward in the process. A feasibility study would help to ensure that a boulevard conversion is fully evaluated and receives fair consideration.

What a study would include:

The study would help the public and decision makers better understand how a future without the highway could work and the benefits for the surrounding community. It would also help to answer common questions about highway removal, including how traffic would be impacted.

An I-94 boulevard conversion feasibility study would evaluate:

  • Cost & implementation
  • Transportation access, freight & traffic
  • Climate and environmental justice
  • Racial equity
  • Traffic safety and public health
  • Economic opportunity, housing and businesses
  • Tax revenue and regional land use changes
  • Highway removal projects in other cities
  • Anti-displacement and community benefit policies

Take action by emailing legislators and asking them to study the Twin Cities Boulevard!

Click here to learn more about the Twin Cities Boulevard campaign.

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Minneapolis, MN